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Financial Giant Fidelity Investments is Building a Cryptocurrency Exchange

A new report from Business Insider indicates that multi-trillion dollar asset manager Fidelity Investments is building a cryptocurrency exchange.

Business Insider cited internal job postings from the Boston, Massachusetts-based firm. The company is reportedly hiring a DevOps System Engineer internally “to help engineer, create and deploy a digital asset exchange to both a public and private cloud.”

Business Insider also cited anonymous sources with inside knowledge of the matter, claiming that Fidelity has been developing a cryptocurrency exchange for approximately one year.

Fidelity Investments currently manages over $2.4 trillion in assets. Now, if these reports are to be believed, the company is preparing to launch a full-fledged cryptocurrency exchange.

This latest report also suggests that Fidelity’s platform will be more than just a cryptocurrency exchange: Fidelity is also reportedly hiring staff to develop “first-in-class custodian services for bitcoin and other digital currencies.”

All job positions are expected to fall under Fidelity’s Digital Asset Service division, a small department of the company that currently manages Fidelity’s limited cryptocurrency-related services.

This isn’t the first time Fidelity has made headlines for its support of the crypto industry. Today, Fidelity customers can link their Coinbase accounts with their Fidelity portfolios, allowing you to view your cryptocurrency holdings and traditional financial portfolio from a single dashboard alongside your other Fidelity investments.

With this new platform, however, Fidelity appears to be taking crypto investing to the next level by allowing the company to hold cryptocurrency assets directly.

Details of Fidelity’s cryptocurrency exchange are unclear. It’s unknown whether this would be a full-featured cryptocurrency exchange separate from existing Fidelity products and services or if the company would integrate the cryptocurrency exchange directly within their existing umbrella of products.

It’s also unclear when the exchange would launch, or how far along development of the platform may be.

CEO Abigail Johnson has previously declared support for cryptocurrencies. In May 2017, Fidelity’s CEO explained that she’s “a believer” in cryptocurrencies and claims her company was not giving up on cryptocurrencies anytime soon:

“I’m a believer. I’m one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services company that has not given up on digital currencies.”

As a testament to Fidelity’s support, the company has made several venture investments in various cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. Fidelity has also launched its own small cryptocurrency mining operation. Johnson later explained that the mining operation was “actually making a lot of money”, even though Fidelity had primarily launched the operation for educational purposes.

One final way in which Fidelity has embraced crypto is with donations. Fidelity’s charity division, for example, allows donors to make contributions in bitcoin. Over the past few years, that fund has reportedly collected tens of millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin – including $22 million of cryptocurrency donations in 2017 alone.

If a firm as large and well-known as Fidelity Investments launches its own cryptocurrency exchange, it would be huge for the crypto industry. We know a number of other firms – including Goldman Sachs – are exploring the launch of their own cryptocurrency exchanges. Fidelity, however, might be the first major financial institution to get their exchange off the ground.

Image:Fidelity Investments image logo near Wall Street (LA Times / Carolyn Cole)

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